Dear Aunty B,
My accountant sits on my board and every time I present a new plan he picks it to bits and points out all the risks.
I have just realised that this then puts me off implementing the plan and that we have arrived at the end of the year not having done much, with me wanting to kill my accountant!
Is he a scardey-cat or are all my ideas stupid and he is saving me from myself?
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Which is it?
Dear Which is it?
It is neither. He is an accountant. You are an entrepreneur. Two more unlikely creatures could not coexist on the planet. Now before the howls of protest start let me add – and only because it’s Christmas and I am hung over from the office party and can’t be bothered arguing – that there are some accountants who make great entrepreneurs.
But let’s be clear about the role – and tendencies – of your typical accountant. It is to point out risk. That’s right. But the problem is you are an entrepreneur and your job – and tendency – is to take risks.
What you need to do is this: see his advice for what it is: anticipating problems for you to overcome. It is far better to be forewarned and so he is doing you a favour. But it certainly shouldn’t paralyse you.
I would remove your accountant from the board. Replace him with an experienced entrepreneur who understands risk and growth. That way you can always meet with your accountant before a board meeting, write down a list of risks and discuss risk mitigation at the board meeting with the experienced entrepreneur. Whatever you do, don’t let the accountant stop you in your tracks.
Alternatively find a new accountant who does growth and risk.
Your Aunty B
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